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post #1 of 17 Old 01-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Old antenna mystery

I'm about to climb the mast and make some changes at the top end. Just waiting for some connectors and feed thrus to arrive. I've been puzzling over this old antenna up there. I don't know what it is. Suspect a mid 80's SatNav of some kind, but trying to find an image of a marine antenna for sat nav systems I can't find anything even remotely like this.

I think it's a coax cable, but won't know for sure until I sort this and a few other unused wires out.

Any of you other old timers recognize this thing?
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-28-2016
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Re: Old antenna mystery

Looks like a LORAN antenna. Definitely don't need one in US waters as LORAN has been off air for years.

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post #3 of 17 Old 01-28-2016
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Re: Old antenna mystery

I don't think that it is LORAN, those Antennas were usually bottom-coil loaded Whips, because of the very low frequency.
Satellite Phone seems most obvious... early Iridium, perhaps?

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-29-2016
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Ionic Power Collector

Hey,

That's an Ionic Power Collector (IPC). It was invented by Tesla and is used to collect electricity from the air. Ions in the air hit the IPC and it converts them into DC. You will probably find it's connected to your batteries to keep them fully charged.

Oh wait, it's not April 1. Sorry, I have no idea what that is.

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Old antenna mystery

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Originally Posted by Erindipity View Post
I don't think that it is LORAN, those Antennas were usually bottom-coil loaded Whips, because of the very low frequency.
Satellite Phone seems most obvious... early Iridium, perhaps?

ČErindipity

Well, while I wouldn't rule it out, I have to wonder why someone would go to the hassle and expense of putting a sat phone antenna on the mast. Getting fifty feet closer to the satellite really isn't going to cut down on the latency enough to be worth it, is it?

Now that I think about it, and assuming whomever installed it knew what they were doing, the height would seem to indicate something with a line of sight limitation, horizon limited, or meaning an omni-directional system. Things looking straight up don't need to be at the top of the mast. I looked at RDF and VOR system antenna images...no joy.

I worked on plenty of boats with Loran, and don't recall anything but whip antennas for those. I just did a google search for loran antenna images, and there are some blades etc. but nothing like this at all.

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Last edited by 2Gringos; 01-29-2016 at 10:17 AM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-29-2016
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Re: Old antenna mystery

That antenna looks like an old Wifi installation... not too sure but look at the end of the cable for the connector and compare to the N-Connector for TNC type or SMA. The connector could also have been converted to regular antenna coax connector PL259 type.

http://wireless.gumph.org/content/3/...onnectors.html

I don't believe it is GPS as they need to have a fairly flat surface for the GPS chip towards the sky so it rules this out. Could also be a VHF antenna from some now vintage marine radio system.

Good luck and why not replace it if possible to a better high gain antenna for whatever radio/wifi use you need it for?

Last edited by guitarguy56; 01-29-2016 at 10:41 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Old antenna mystery

It's not connected to anything presently on the boat. I don't need it. It's not in use at all. Previous owner had boat for six years, and he didn't know what it was, either. I asked him when we bought the boat up at NAS-JAX in 2012. He is retired USCG and didn't recognize it, and said it was on the boat when he got it. So that's probably at least ten years it's been up there disconnected.

The only radio system I removed from the boat was an iCom SSB, with antenna tuner and unused Pactor 1. That's all sitting in storage now in Colorado while I try to figure out whether it's worth even keeping. I also took off a six man life raft, two Baby Blake heads, and a bunch of other stuff that had accumulated under previous owners.

The battered and melted thing on the left in this photo is what was the VHF antenna. Apparently they don't much like lightning strikes. The tricolor, the VHF, the wind instruments, and this mystery antenna are all dysfunctional. Further down the mast, the radar, steaming light, and deck light were fried, as well. Hey, the anchor light still works.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Ionic Power Collector

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

That's an Ionic Power Collector (IPC). It was invented by Tesla and is used to collect electricity from the air. Ions in the air hit the IPC and it converts them into DC. You will probably find it's connected to your batteries to keep them fully charged.

Oh wait, it's not April 1. Sorry, I have no idea what that is.
Damn, I wonder if it's too late to cancel the Amazon order for dilithium crystals..

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-29-2016
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Re: Ionic Power Collector

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

That's an Ionic Power Collector (IPC). It was invented by Tesla and is used to collect electricity from the air. Ions in the air hit the IPC and it converts them into DC. You will probably find it's connected to your batteries to keep them fully charged.

Oh wait, it's not April 1. Sorry, I have no idea what that is.
Yea, he got paid off to not go commercial with it, along with the guy who invented the 200 MPG carburetor!

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-29-2016
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Re: Old antenna mystery

2G-
Even if it looks like there's a useful coax cable on it? If it is from the 80's, that's about 3x-4x longer than you want to keep coax cable. It stretches out in the vertical run in the mast, and deforms and changes electrical characteristics. So even if it is clean and dry and seem to work...break down, lop the end off and use it to pull new high-quality cable and make a good solid installation. One less thing to worry about.
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